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Things That Work; Working Things


From a previous post titled Tractor Supply Sells Chinese Crap–

I carry a pair of leather work gloves in my back pocket all the time. Not because I am afraid of messing up my manicure but

The end of a long, hot day.  A sweaty back, draggy ass Wranglers and gloves in my back pocket.

The end of a long, hot day. A sweaty back, draggy ass Wranglers and gloves in my back pocket.

because working around all this heavy equipment you can ruin your hands if you are not careful. There is always something that is rusty or oily or rough that needs a gloved hand on it.

I gotta have a pair of heavy gloves.  No question.  I have a screwdriver gouge in the ham meat of my left thumb that is paining me right now and  a splinter in my right index finger that is turning to fester — all because I did not have my gloves on.

If you read the original post you may be sorta thinking this post is more than just about an innocuous pair of simple leather gloves and of course you would be right.    I bought a pair of Made in China gloves from Tractor Supply that just disintegrated about the first time I worked up a good sweat.  I went back to my tried and true American owned company Wells Lamont gloves.  I was chagrined when I checked the inside of the Wells Lamont gloves to find they were  Made in India.   Fast forward 10 months and the Wells Lamont gloves are doing great… tough as old boot leather.  So regardless of the country of manufacture, it appears American owned Wells Lamont it still putting out a quality product.

So why should I even make note of this?  Why is it even note-worthy?  Why would I bother to even write about it?  And by the way, I have NOT been back in Tractor Supply since I bought those Chinese crap gloves.   Well, it is like this folks.  Once upon a time, an American made product was as good as it gets.   No better quality anywhere and a good product at a decent price — and then we lost it.   Oh, we didn’t forget how to make the products. We just gave it all away  —  we shared automotive technology with Japan in the ’60’s , we shared computer and electronic technology with a bag full of Asian countries. We exported our knowledge and the jobs went with them.

It all boils down to greed.  Some savvy New York City marketing guru figured it all out and we were screwed.    See, what he discovered was the American Public will accept an inferior product if it is cheap enough… and I am sure somebody paid him a bazillion bucks for figuring out the secret.   We buy it, it breaks or wears out prematurely and we just say ” Oh well, it was cheap.  I will just get another one.” Damned good marketing if you ask me.  What future is there in making gloves that will last a year under hard use when you could make a cheaper pair with a higher profit margin that only last 3 months.  So what, they are cheap.  I can buy 4 pairs per year.

Christ, have we completely lost our minds?

Working Gloves-- That is not a joystick for an XBOX. Modern Dozers are controlled by a joystick in each hand

The reason the stores have all that inferior crap is because we will buy it. We may not like buying it but buy it we will. It is cheap you know.

Working like we do has an immediacy that is lost in an office or a high rise.  What we do each day can be easily measured and if it does NOT  get done, there is nobody down the line to lay it off on.   Over the years we have gravitated toward things that work well for us – because there is no option for failure.  None of our big iron says Komatsu or Kobelco on the side.  It is all John Deere and  Caterpillar.  Snap On tools, Wrangler 13MWZ jeans, Red Wing steel toed boots, Stetson hats and many more products.

All Made in the USA.

I didn’t walk into a store and say “I want to buy a pair of American made jeans or boots or tools.”  We tried other options and eventually settled on what works.   Funny how it all has the same country of origin, huh?  Sadly, I feel like we are in a diminishing minority.  Where will it all end?

END NOTE: What about a James McMurtry grab bag?  You either dig him or you don’t.

Choctaw Bingo from Saint Mary of the Woods

We Can’t Make It Here from Childish Things

60 Acres from Live in Aught-Three

Talkin’ at the Texaco from Lost in the Wasteland

Valley Road from Saint Mary of the Woods

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2 comments to Things That Work; Working Things

  • Kathy

    Wonderful writing, more people should buy Made in USA. Help your neighbors and buy gifts made in America. We will all prosper once again.

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  • CJ

    + 1

    And you forgot:

    “Levelland”, “Red Dress”, “No More Buffalo”, “Fuller Brush Man”, “Good Life” (sort of applies here), and “The Governor” (from the new album).

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